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I get up in the morning and start the ritual of the three S’s. TV volume comes up in the background – wife’s up. As I dress, the news is chock full of things to ponder. There is the drifter that roamed from friends’ home to home to live on couches who was stabbed to death and found on a golf course yesterday morning, the talking heads telling us their take on the 1.3 Trillion dollar “package” of “change”, gas prices are quickly on the rise again, the Israelis are killing more in response to more rockets launched against them – from yet more peoples, and I see the campus “protest” over the Israeli/Palestinian incident that I heard yesterday as I walked from my office to the gym.

Pack up, mount up, hit the ignition and warm up – its 50 DegreesF. Roll out, roll down the drive, hit the garage door closer button and off with a familiar whirr….. In traffic, the local vegetable pickers are packed 3 to 5 in their beat up old cars with the windows all steamed – my first complex cager danger zone before the highway – 2 miles later I’m in the last quiet neighborhood – another danger zone as school children race to bus stops and late workers try to get through intersections in the way of their destination. The other side lays the freeway.

Last traffic light and the cars are stacked up – I count 20 – hope I make this light – I do. Hit the cloverleaf north, left signal, look and merge – look again – careful, there are headlights flying up on you – what’s he doing about 105? In a Suburban? Dope. He’s gone - tunes up - set cruise control at 72 – there’s the gap – signal, look, merge right – look again. Start to settle into the ride – always alert…. Check the rear views – the distant clouds turning pink – later hot pink and orange – GPS still in night mode. NICE – big traffic gap – love the bubble.

Take in the rolling green farm and ranchlands that line this second most fertile valley in the west. The recent rain and fog has begun the annual greening process. I smile at the horses, cattle, barns, and the mountains on either side – post card perfect. Ponder the times – and how they have changed – yet remain the same – yet again – they have changed – oh I dunno… Whether you were riding a horse to start your new world farm – to make new living in “the west” or ride a modern motorcycle to work to make your living in "the west" – how much is change and how much is the same – the contracting for survival and finding your place in this world?

Approach the 5 cities area look - signal – look again – merge left – I’ll stay here in the passing lane until the other side of the five cities – safer to avoid the on/off ramps and it is closer to the median guardrail where the best ocean views are there for the taking. I wonder if there is fog ahead in the gap? Has been the trend for weeks now – what was it the weatherman said? “Desert winds will mean clearer skies and warmer temperatures today and throughout the weekend – highs of 78 today” – oh yeah – no fog – in fact wow – look how clear out over the ocean!!! Man, I can see the curvature of the earth!!! Like Columbus, I bet if I go waaaayyyyy out there I won’t fall off! I wonder why they chose to name my town after one of Columbus’s boats – Santa Maria – I’ll have to look it up.

Ohhh! Brakelights ahead about a mile – what’s up? – There it is - the dull grey of a semi and someone is lagging to pass as the wind has started and the semi snakes along. Huh, traffic is light for a Friday – wonder if they’re on vacation or taking a three day? Did I sleep in and they’re already there? Or are they sleeping in? Yellow light on dash! Guess I’ll go by Costco before I leave town towards home and gas up – nice ride out that way – out foothill boulevard through the ranches – short, but nice.

As I take in the morning beauty of my ride – I think of our long vacation ride this coming summer – over 6,000 miles and at last count no less than a dozen National Parks, National Monuments and State Parks - and many more historical “places of interest” - plus, my first Sturgis. I think of how great the people are that I’ve met or will meet through motorcycling and how they willingly offer their assistance on all matters – all you need to do is ask – and sometimes they offer anyway – without asking. What a great “subculture” to be a part of where people share and share alike – their stories, their knowledge and sometimes even their homes. Butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, doctors, lawyers, and dockworkers, computer geeks and atlas freaks – the list goes on and on – but the one tie that binds us all – the world over – love of the ride. Amazing.

As I exit, I see Cal Tran’s roadwork ahead at the bottom of the off ramp – OK what’s up – lots of cones. I laugh as my 80 watt per channel stereo is blasting Bruce Springsteen’s “Rosalita” the workers heads all snap in unison – smiles on their faces – get a few thumbs up – wave back – slow to stop – look both directions – twice – then whirr across traffic and turn left up the hill to the sleepy campus. Stereo down – don’t want to wake the locals – I smile as the “oldie” – “Day by Day” comes on…

Day by day…
Day by day…
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray…
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

I have my private “Godspell” moment – thank You - for everything.

Check speed – campus is 25 – not a soul is stirring. Look at that view as I crest the hill – my stylish Performing Arts Center - which has been used in commercials – all metal and Architectural against the backdrop of the coastal mountains – with names like Mount Madonna and Bishop’s Peak.

I roll by the student union – all cold concrete – with the neon paint on bookstore window signs silently shouting their sales. This is the spot I saw on the morning news where students “representing” both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict gathered in peaceful protest to discuss, carry bold signs and listen to modern rock music by a local band. Times are different – but the same – yet different….

It’s Friday. The boss is traveling. Projects in good shape. It will be 78 DegreesF this afternoon. I’ll hit the gym. Then I think I’ll gas up and take the long way home. Should I take the vineyards or the coast? Either way I’ll do most or all of it “off-hiway”. Slower, less traffic, more communing with nature and God. Decisions, decisions. I’ll have to get my wife out for a ride this weekend – too beautiful not to share.

Park, dismount, bag the helmet and jacket, grab my backpack full of my days work and comforts. Stereo still playing, as the bike rises onto center stand the tunes cut out momentarily – I look in time to see the GPS change to “Day Mode” - sunrise, time to get to work. As I cross the small parking lot to enter the building a smile crosses my face –



Man, this - is - living.
:waving::18black::waving:
 

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Cool...... very, very, very cool........ thank you, sir..........!

Have a great ride home!
 

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Sounds a lot like many of my mornings, except I am in the mid-west cool winter time. Calls for a little electric, to keep warm for 50 miles, some mornings Don't know the distance you travel for that ride. But I have ridden that area many years ago, 1967-69.
 

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27* this morning, oh for a ride like that on a day like today. Thanks for sharing that with us. Wishing you many more happy and safe miles.



Ritchie & Lyn :waving::waving:
 

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Very nice ride report, felt like I was there (and made me wish I was!).
 

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I am very jealous:(. Glad you had such a good time. Take a ride for me:dude:
 

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At least when it's cold here and I choose not to ride, I can feel the ride through others. Thanks for the report:action::action::action::action:
 

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Damn,,,,,,, I like this kinda stuff :cooler:
 

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Thanks brother, for takin me with ya to work!I don't miss the SanDiego traffic, but I sure wish I would have had my wing in Cal.! I used to look out at the Pacific as I drove my old van to and from jobs, and would mentally thank God for letting us live there.I can only imagine what the 101 would have been like on a Goldwing!! Thanks again for the lift! jimsjinx
 

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Cousin JackMeet Blackdog
Blackdog meet Cousin Jack


Kindredspirits as far as I can see!!!!!:action::action::action:
 

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Cousin Jack wrote:

Cool...... very, very, very cool........ thank you, sir..........!

Have a great ride home!
Thank you - hope we get to meet when we pass through WA in late July.

GreenDragon wrote:
Sounds a lot like many of my mornings, except I am in the mid-west cool winter time. Calls for a little electric, to keep warm for 50 miles, some mornings Don't know the distance you travel for that ride. But I have ridden that area many years ago, 1967-69.
Yes, then you know what a great place it is - I travel about 36 miles each way to work.

papabee49 wrote:
27* this morning, oh for a ride like that on a day like today. Thanks for sharing that with us. Wishing you many more happy and safe miles.



Ritchie & Lyn :waving::waving:
You're welcome and I wish you the same!

chiefcherokee wrote:

Very nice ride report, felt like I was there (and made me wish I was!).
Thanks

Dragoon wrote:

I am very jealous:(. Glad you had such a good time. Take a ride for me:dude:
Well you need to get out again too - and I thought I just did - take you for a ride - LOL :cheeky1:

Reitzclean wrote:
At least when it's cold here and I choose not to ride, I can feel the ride through others. Thanks for the report:action::action::action::action:
You're welcome!

lostinflorida wrote:

That was great...

I could almost smell the ocean!!!

Thanks.

You're welcome! And thanks for the compliment!

OnaWingandaPrayer wrote:

Thanks :clapper:That was a great write up of your ride :action:.

Thank you.

Winger77 wrote:
Damn,,,,,,, I like this kinda stuff :cooler:
Me too. I thinkk the "sharing of rides" is great on this board - like your video!

jimsjinx wrote:

Thanks brother, for takin me with ya to work!I don't miss the SanDiego traffic, but I sure wish I would have had my wing in Cal.! I used to look out at the Pacific as I drove my old van to and from jobs, and would mentally thank God for letting us live there.I can only imagine what the 101 would have been like on a Goldwing!! Thanks again for the lift! jimsjinx
You're welcome - and maybe its time to get your wing out to Cali and ride?


ccsailor wrote:
Cousin JackMeet Blackdog
Blackdog meet Cousin Jack


Kindredspirits as far as I can see!!!!!:action::action::action:
Thank you - can't think of a nicer compliment for one's prose from my end.



Okay - gotta go for a ride - LOL :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:
 
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